The Joliet City Council voted to approve an annexation plan for the NorthPoint project.
The council voted after hearing from 80 people over two days speaking against the project and an executive from NorthPoint Development making the company's case for the warehouse and industrial park.
“I beg you to do what’s right,” said Nancy Bartels of Elwood. “Listen to the people who are talking to you tonight.”
NorthPoint said its 1,360-acre Compass Global Logistics Hub, which would stretch south from Joliet into Elwood, will control trucks that residents in the area say are overloading Route 53 and local roads.
“What you are considering is a solution to what everybody who called in is looking for,” NorthPoint Director of Development Tom George told the council before it voted.
The council voted, 6-2, for the project.
Voting for it were Larry Hug, Herb Lande, Terry Morris, Pat Mudron, Sherri Reardon and Jan Quillman.
Voting no were Bettye Gavin and Michael Turk.
The approval comes amid a lawsuit trying to stop it, which means the NorthPoint controversy isn’t settled yet.
Two lawyers for Stop NorthPoint, the organization that filed the lawsuit, called in to the hearing.”
“Are you smarter or more informed than the hundreds and maybe thousands of people who oppose this annexation?” attorney Robert Fioretti said.
While there were several callers from Joliet, most were from the Elwood and Manhattan areas that will border the development.
George in making his case to the council said Joliet is seeing as much impact as any community from the trucks coming out of intermodal yards in Joliet and Elwood.
“I don’t think there is any community that is suffering more than you are by the truck traffic that is coming,” George said. “The city of Joliet is dealing with it. And I think what you are trying to do is take a wise step to control it.”
The Compass Global Logistics Hub is expected to generate 5,000 trucks a day when fully built out, but the developer argues the future traffic can be contained.
The NorthPoint plan is based on a “closed-loop” design that the developer says will give warehouses inside Compass Global Logistics Hub a direct route to the intermodals as well as Interstates 55 and 80 without going onto local roads.
The closed loop, however, depends on a bridge being built over Route 53, and Elwood is fighting the bridge in court. Many speakers against the project argued it should not be approved until NorthPoint had approval for the proposed bridge.